Go MENTAL… A short list to help you transition through 2017 and end in a great place, with a better life and having experienced more, frequent successes. This article has been written with you in mind. You are probably busy, with little time or head space for huge change in how you do things. This is a list of hints, tips, and tweaks that might just make all the difference to your success rates and not just with work…

1 – Stop saying yes when you want to say NO! This is probably one that you’ll find challenging. I know I do, but imagine your energy has a limit. Your ability to focus and give 100% of who you are is only 100% of who you are. If you use it across the board it depletes and you are in danger of not giving 100% when it matters, to those you love and who love you.

2 – Stop focusing on everyone else! Take the time to stop and consider who you are, how you give the best in each situation, and how strong and healthy you need to be to truly support and share your wisdom. Once you appreciate who you need to be to give your best, create a plan to develop, and focus on skill, attitude and knowledge. Put aside a little time each day to focus on you in one of those areas.

3 – Learn! Sounds obvious right… After all we all go on about it all the time, but I’m not talking about reading, attending a training course or watching mind blowing videos or ‘how to’ guides. I’m not talking about carving out time to learn; I’m talking about actually and naturally learning. You are doing it all the time; the challenge is to do it consciously. Learning from every step, every conversation and every experience is what is happening anyway, so why not wake up and grab the learning that supports you and whilst doing so you can delete the learning that doesn’t.

4 – Be there and show up! Not just physically but emotionally and mentally. There’s a huge movement across the professional world in the UK around ‘mindfulness’ (if you haven’t come across it or would like to understand it further, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzR62JJCMBQ)

Being mindful will give you the ability to focus on what matters in the moment you are in. Success at the end of work, life, professions, careers or relationships is a culmination of the moments you were in. It is not the ones you thought about that were coming up, or the ones you thought you were in that you thought about whilst in another one… phew… complicated.

5 – Listen to your gut! Need I say more? We all get that feeling inside when we want to act or say something but we stop ourselves out of fear of upsetting someone or hurting their feelings. We even sometimes get fearful about their reaction or selfishly, the impact on us. I believe it is the courageous that are the happiest; those that travel light, unburdened of the things they wished they’d said or done. Free to move, to grow, to feel and to learn. Be conscious of how you live your honesty, remaining considerate of those around you and ensuring that it aligns with who you are and your intent. Always, without fail, listen to your gut and share what you must to move freely.

6 – Focus on your relationships and not your wants! In any relationship, there are only three entities, there’s you firstly, then there’s the other(s), and finally there’s the relationship itself (called the third entity). Relationships break when we forget about the third entity and wrap everything up in the other person. So consider the third entity; this is where the values and behaviours show up. If you want to be respected, you have to respect; if you want to be understood, you have to show understanding, and so on. Think of it like a bank; you can’t withdraw without depositing first. Your deposits need to be frequent and high enough for you to get back what you need or want to be happy. Don’t concern yourself with what the second entity puts in, make the deposit and draw on that.

7 – Stop spending! Firstly what is spending? Well in this context it’s the exact opposite to investing. It is the giving of a resource with no expectation or consideration of return. Stop doing it and always ask yourself, ‘what will this give me back?’ Now obviously, we could focus on money; it’s the largest association with the word spend. But it’s also the newest and probably the least important for this post. Consider love, respect, honesty, courage, and trust. Deposit these things in the relationship as suggested above. If there is no growth on your investment, withdraw and move on (same goes for money by the way even if it’s the new kid on the block).

8 – Be at home! When you’re at home, be there. Follow the tips above and ensure that when you are at home you are there physically, mentally and emotionally. Like me you probably have a very busy work life and often spend more time out of the home than in it, which is often supported by those in your home; they are all investing. So when you’re there… be there.

9 – GO MENTAL! I get rather irritated by the term mental illness or mental wellbeing. We are all mental creatures, we all need to consider our mental-ness, not just those that have had the courage and wisdom to go mental already. So, let’s all go mental. Let’s all think about the craziness we hide and let’s embrace it. We will then be able to communicate and support each other from a place of acceptance rather than judgement. There is no ‘normal’ for any human BEING on earth, and although recognisable patterns may exist, each human BEING is different in some way. To accept them all is to be free and to be free starts with accepting the closest one of all…YOU. So explore your mental-ness and stop denying yourself expression. WARNING – always consider the how as this is largely what is remembered, not the what. If your expression is to throw paint at a wall, then maybe do it in a local art class… Express with the consideration of all the above points.

10 – Start practicing! All too often in life we discover a challenge in skill, attitude or behaviour. When we do we seek out a remedy, strategy or solution and we engage with it, tick our box and move on. Sounds like madness to me. If we find something that works, why not make it a part of our daily practice? You can only learn more when you apply and re-apply the skills you learn. Take stress for example; too many senior people often suffer with stress. They then find a great coach or mentor to support them with some strategies, apply those strategies, then the stress dissipates and they stop practicing the strategies. And guess what… the stress comes back. Success in life is being aware of what the potential hurdles are and working on what’s required to overcome them before they smash your shins in. Find a solution and incorporate it into your daily practice.

By Dom Keohane

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